01 January, 2009

Saying Goodbye to 2008 and Mediocrity

I read GigaOM for the technology news. I’ve long since realized that my political views differ radically from most of the posters there.

However, this article is a rare gem. Om Malik gets straight to the heart of what we’ve done wrong the last few months: embraced mediocrity.

In offering money to bailout failed bankers who couldn’t bank, car makers who couldn’t make good cars and chipmakers who have seemingly no business acumen, we stood on the top of the roofs and said: Mediocrity is OK. In the meantime, not one person has been held accountable for bringing fiscal, moral and social Armageddon to our doorstep.

He also looks at it from a technology perspective:

Our acceptance of mediocrity is the reason why Apple’s iPhone hasn’t had a credible competitor. Today, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, in a chat with CNET Asia, compared the BlackBerry Storm — an iPhone rival — to a netbook. I recently had a chance to use the touchscreen Storm and within an hour of using the device, it was more like a Touch Scream Storm. It is beyond bad! Any self-respecting company should think twice before putting that device into the market, but as I said, in 2008 we came to learn and reward mediocrity.

I disagree with Om on one thing, though. This embracing of mediocrity is hardly new with 2008. It just accelerated then. He is correct in his conclusion, though. If we continue to embrace mediocrity, we will never again make this country great.

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